One day Victor's father, who knew nothing of his son's inner turmoil, brought him a piece of marble taken from a bombed out synagogue. It contained a small bit of writing that Victor recognized as being from the fifth commandment: Honor your father and mother.
This was the hint he had been looking for; Frankl decided to stayed. The decision was not without a price; he and his family were arrested and imprisoned. His parents died in concentration camps, and he himself spent years in Auschwitz. But he survived, and as a result he was able to provide strength and encouragement to millions through his writings—most notably his book Man's Search for Meaning.
He made the decision to stay—and paid a price for his choice.
We all wrestle with the decision to stay or go. It is a major life decision.
I had a couple make a major life decision to go to another state to pursue a job opportunity. It was a wrong choice. They came sheepishly back, embarrassed and hiding. I sought them out and told them I loved them and they were welcome back. They returned to us for a season.
‘and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.’ (Hebrews 12:1)
But there is probably no greater place where one wrestles with this than in the ministry. Pastors who are trying to decide to stay or go….
When is his time up?
Has he ‘taken them as far as he can?’
Is there somewhere else his services would be better appreciated?
Does the grass really look greener over on that side of the fence?
The answer to these questions can often be found in the answer to another:
Are you running to avoid pain, or running to gain the prize?
If your reason for wanting to go is simply to avoid something unpleasant, that might be a hint that God is calling you to stay. In the race marked out for you, there will be times when you must take a bold step of faith into the unknown. And there will be times when you must take an even bolder step of faith into the known. And stay....in defiance of the call to comfort...in the face of certain struggle.
Sometimes our best decision is to stay. Greener pastures may be calling us elsewhere, but our true calling is right where we are. Staying doesn't often result in glory and honor. In fact, it's more likely to result in suffering and hardship. And, yet, it is in choosing to stay that we most often do the most good.
Are you struggling with a stay or go decision? Ask yourself: which takes me closer to the prize?